Chris Paul might be the unluckiest player in NBA history when it comes to title chasing.
Paul is one of the most sought-after point guards in the league, yet circumstances out of his control often interfere each time he takes aim at an NBA title.
He has proven to have the ability to carry a team to the championship.
During the 2007-2008 season, just two years after he was drafted to the NBA, the Hornets were near the top of the Western Conference standings all year behind his leadership. The Hornets even temporarily occupying first place on March of that year.
New Orleans finished the season with a franchise-record 56 wins and the second seed in the West. The Hornets defeated the Mavericks in the first round in five games but were eliminated in the next round by the San Antonio Spurs.
Not bad of a franchise player to build around for a championship run.
In the coming years, circumstances beyond his control interferes in his quest to win a championship.
In February, 2010, Paul tore cartilage in his left knee and was sidelined for over a month by surgery. He played in only 45 games during the season and his absence caused the Hornets to miss the playoffs
During the 2011 offseason, the Celtics were offering Rajon Rondo for him but a supposed change of mind by Doc Rivers prevented what would have been a tandem with Boston’s Big Three.
In December 2011, he was nearly traded to the Lakers to join Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol but the NBA, who owned his original team the New Orleans Hornets at that time, nixed it.
In the 2015 first round, he leads the Clippers in eliminating San Antonio in the first round but injures his hamstring late in Game Seven, forcing him to miss the first two games as the Clippers bungle a 3-1 series lead to Houston in the semis.
In the 2016 first round, the Clippers were leading Portland, 2-1, when a hand injury in Game 4 sidelines him indefinitely. Compounding the woes of any possible comeback in future series, Blake Griffin also goes down to a quad injury in the same night. The Clippers went on to loss that game and eventually succumbed to Portland in six games.
In the 2017 first round, the Clippers were eliminated by the Utah Jazz in seven games as Blake suffers a season-ending injury toe injury in Game Four of the series, the Clippers leading 2-1 before the game.
And now, this: up 3-2 against the Warriors, he suffers a hamstring injury to relegate him to a spectator where his teammates go down from misfiring triples.
It is during his tenure in LA that the Clippers became the first NBA team to blow five straight postseason series leads.
The one time he lost a series due to reasons he can control was the Game 5 of the 2013-14 Western conference Semifinals where he made a series of late game mistakes leading to an eventual Thunder victory when the series was tied 2-2. The Thunder eventually eliminated the Clippers in six games.
He is now asking for the max contract from the Rockets now that his old contract, originally with the Clippers, is expiring.
Is he really worth maxing out? He should be. Only this hounding bad luck that is preventing him from showing what he has in store in an NBA championship game seems to be the only reason why the Rockets might be having second thoughts. Most especially that it involves crippling injury during times that he is badly needed on the floor.
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS